You may recall that last year HoopsAddict.com was lucky enough to take a spot on About.com’s weekly division recap panel. Both Ryan McNeill and I took turns breaking down the woes and worries of the Atlantic Division, back before the Boston Celtics were even worth talking about. Well this year HoopsAddict.com is back, shedding light on the unpredictable Southeast Division. So if it’s the youth movement taking place in Atlanta that you’re interested, or you just like relishing in the fact that the Miami Heat (appear) to have fallen off for good, then be sure to check in every week.
Recap Rewind: Since surrendering their second place spot in the Southeast Division the Atlanta Hawks have continued to slip. The Hawks did start the week off with a win, at home against Denver, but have since lost three straight. Included in those losses are two, on the road, against the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors. On Monday night the Hawks fell to the Portland Trail Blazers in overtime.
Notable News: With a record of 17-20 the Atlanta Hawks sit in third place in the Southeast Division and are in no immediate position to steal second or slip to fourth… Fantasy basketball freak Josh Smith pleased owners on Monday after coming up with 17 points, 17 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and a pair of steals in their overtime loss to Portland… For the second time this year a Hawks player has been suspended as the result of a flagrant foul against the Toronto Raptors, this time it was point guard Anthony Johnson for his hit on Jose Calderon.
Fast Forward: On Wednesday the Hawks set out on a five game west coast trip, three of those games will fall within the next week. After starting in Denver, Atlanta will then head to Seattle and Portland on Friday and Sunday respectively, hoping to turn their recent struggles around and stay in the playoff picture.
Recap Rewind: The Charlotte Bobcats split a pair this week, dropping contests in New Orleans against the surprisingly successful Hornets and at home against the reigning champion San Antonio Spurs. The Cats’ wins came against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday and the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
Notable News: At 16-25 the Bobcats remain in fourth place in the Southeast Division, if the Atlanta Hawks continue to slip, Charlotte, who is currently three games behind, may be able to position themselves to overtake them in the coming weeks… It is being reported that small forward Gerald Wallace left Monday’s bout with the San Antonio Spurs due to a sore left leg. He is listed as day-to-day for Wednesday.
Fast Forward: The Bobcats will have a decent week this week, at least once they get Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks over with. From there the Cats will head to Chicago to take on the Bulls on Friday, face the Philadelphia 76ers at home on Saturday and then the Clippers in Los Angeles next Monday.
Recap Rewind: The Miami Heat continue to lose like it’s their job. This weeks victors: Chicago, Portland and New York, all of whom conquered the East’s easiest W in the American Airlines Arena.
Notable News: The Miami Heat have not won a game since December 22… The Miami Heat, despite Shaquille O’Neal’s return on Wednesday, have lost 13 games in a row, barely edging out the Seattle Supersonics (and their own 11-game skid) in a test of incompetence… The Miami Heat are in last place in the Southeast Division (by far), at 8-32, and last in the Eastern Conference (by far)… The Miami Heat suck, words can not describe it… The streak is the worst of coach Pat Riley’s legendary career.
Fast Forward: The Heat are in the midst of an eight-game home stand. Coming up this week are contests against Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers. Pat Riley can only hope rock bottom is soon.
Recap Rewind: The Orlando Magic are fighting to stay on top of the Southeast Division and got just what they needed to do that this week. The Magic won three against Chicago, Portland and Detroit, but fell on the road in Charlotte.
Notable News: With their 26-12 record, the Magic sit two games up on the Washington Wizards in first place in the Southeast Division… Dwight Howard has been chosen to return to the slam dunk competition alongside reigning champion Gerald Green and newcomers Jamario Moon and Rudy Gay.
Fast Forward: The Magic will have their work cut out for them this week with a pair of games against Eastern Conference juggernauts, the Detroit Pistons and the first-place Boston Celtics, as well as another in Memphis against Pau Gasol and the Grizzlies.
Recap Rewind: After a stunning victory over the Boston Celtics last week (two of them actually) The Washington Wizards flopped against the New York Knicks. The loss, however, would do little to slow the Washington momentum, as Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler would lead them to a pair of wins against the Knicks (in their second of the back-to-back) and the Dallas Mavericks.
Notable News: With 22 wins and 17 losses, the Washington Wizards look to be the one team able to overthrow the Orlando Magic in the coming weeks for first place in the Southeast Division… Rookie Oleksiy Pecherov from the Ukraine seems to be earning his way into the rotation after missing the first two and a half months of the season with a broken ankle.
Fast Forward: This week the Washington Wizards will look to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers, Memphis Grizzlies and Milwaukee Bucks. Three winnable games for a team looking to sneak up on the Orlando Magic for first place in their division.
Well that’s it for this week. Be sure to head over to About.com to check out the recaps of the other five divisions.